Transparency News, 10/8/20


 October 8, 2020
follow us on TwitterFacebook & Instagram

state & local news stories
Top Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly are threatening legal action against the Virginia Office of the State Inspector General. They’re demanding to see unredacted copies of recent reports that showed problems with the Virginia Parole Board. Virginia’s inspector general, Michael Westfall, looked into seven complaints against the board. He sent top lawmakers in the House of Delegates and Senate a letter on Tuesday outlining his findings. Westfall said the board failed it’s legal duty to contact victims before deciding to release seven prisoners and failed to contact prosecutors in a timely manner in five of the cases. On Tuesday, top Republicans in the General Assembly issued a statement demanding that Westfall release his full, unredacted reports. They cited a state law requiring that lawmakers be informed of the inspector general’s findings. 

Five members of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors did not break Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act by attending a meeting called by the police department in the wake of a May 30 protest against police brutality in Manassas, a retired Fairfax County judge ruled Wednesday. The meeting at issue was a gathering of about 60 community members, faith leaders and elected officials – including the five supervisors as well as Del. Lee Carter, D-50th,  who was involved in the May 30 protest and was among demonstrators who were hit by police tear gas late that night. The lawsuit alleged public business was discussed at the meeting because the police department officials gave their account of the police response to the protest, which began peacefully and then turned violent. Smith said he “disagree[d]” with the plaintiff’s characterization of the meeting and its intent. “Here you had a meeting, called by the police department, to gather community input and get feedback. That’s what the evidence has established,” Smith said.
Prince William Times